Two Winners Announced for 2020 Curtis Mayfield Scholarships

NEW YORK, NY ― June 10, 2020 ― The BMI Foundation, in partnership with the Curtis Mayfield Foundation, Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), and Dekalb School of the Arts in Atlanta  has announced ChiArts senior Alisha Greenridge and Dekalb School of the Arts senior Sydney Queen as the winners of the 2020 Curtis Mayfield Scholarships. Both students were announced with a $3,000 award by Cheaa Mayfield, the son of Curtis Mayfield via Cheaa Mayfield’s Facebook Live event on Thursday May 21st here.

The Curtis Mayfield Scholarship is presented annually to exemplary graduating seniors at both ChiArts in Chicago, IL and DeKalb School of the Arts in Atlanta, GA. Both institutions are 4-year public high schools with dedicated programs and curriculum for artistically gifted students. The scholarship program honors the memory of the iconic Chicago-born songwriter, musician and producer whose prolific career and legacy includes such hits as “Superfly,” “People Get Ready,” “Move On Up,” “Do Do Wap is Strong in Here,” and “It’s All Right”, as well as the numerous soundtracks he created for film. Recipients are chosen based on need and musical merit, and preference is given to students going on to pursue college majors in performance, composition, and songwriting.

Mrs. Altheida Mayfield describes her late husband as a caring man of great depth who took pride in helping young people achieve their musical dreams. Upon the announcement of the scholarship’s expansion to Atlanta, she shared her hope that this gesture would be a way for the Curtis Mayfield legacy to remain connected with his Chicago roots and bring a renewed awareness of his connection and musical influence to the Georgia capital. 

Alisha Greenridge is a graduating senior at Chicago High School for the Arts where she studied vocals for Opera, Musical Theater, Jazz and Gospel. She is featured in the Angelic and Sanctuary choirs at Union Hill Church, and was the first and only Chicago student to perform at the UWM Vocal Arts Festival in 2019. She has performed with Dr. Walt Whitman and the Soul of Chicago, on the remake of Michael Jackson’s Heal the World and made appearances on WVON and Windy City Live.

Sydney Queen is a 12th Grade French horn player from DeKalb School of the Arts in Avondale Estates, Georgia. Throughout their high school career, they have been active in multiple DSA ensembles, majority being under the direction of band director, Mr. Anthony Moore. At school, Sydney participated in Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Strolling Strings, Jazz Band, and Jazz Combo, playing French Horn, bass guitar, piano, and trumpet. Sydney also founded the DSA Brass Ensemble, participated in DeKalb Honor Bands and District 4 Honor Bands, and served as Treasurer of the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society. Outside of school, they were principal horn for the DeKalb Youth Symphony Orchestra, alternate horn for the Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble, vice-president of the Sinfo-Nia Youth Orchestra, bassist for Visions Selah Church, and an instrumental music major at the 2019 Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. In the Fall, Sydney will enrolled at Agnes Scott College as a Music major and Education minor to become a Music Educator and Instrument Repair Technician in Atlanta, Georgia, and give back to the community and art that molded them into who they are. 

About The Chicago High School for the Arts

The mission of The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) is to provide artistically gifted, diverse Chicago high school students intensive pre-professional training in the arts, combined with a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum. Each year, ChiArts serves 600 scholar-artists across five conservatories: Creative Writing, Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts — with the goal of shaping them into creators, thinkers, and active citizens whose participation in the arts and culture will enrich their lives and society at large.

About DeKalb School of the Arts

The mission of the DeKalb School of the Arts is to provide the highest quality education possible through academics and the arts. After touching the lives of over 1000 students for 14 years, as the DeKalb Center for Performing Arts (DCPA), the magnet program housed at Avondale High School was expanded to a stand-alone high school in 1999. In 2009, DSA moved back to the Avondale High School (now closed) campus. DSA provides each student with a comprehensive education inclusive of special knowledge and experience in the arts and develops the discipline, appreciation and achievement necessary for student’s academic, professional and personal goals. In addition to a full complement of academic subjects, students are offered drama, dance, vocal and instrumental music, visual arts, video technology, creative writing, multimedia and design & production. Many students participate in the gifted, advanced, and advanced placement programs of study.

About the BMI Foundation

The BMI Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 to encourage the creation, performance, and study of American music. The Foundation’s programs include competitive scholarships for songwriters and composers, operating grants for nonprofit arts presenters, and support for innovative music education initiatives in schools and communities across the country. For more information about the work of the Foundation, please visit our website at For exclusive news and content, follow @bmifoundation on Twitter and Instagram, and like “BMI Foundation” on Facebook at